The average Facebook user will occasionally log in to find out that the experience has changed, sometimes dramatically. Advertisers experience this as well, but at a more rapid pace. Right now Facebook is heading into a major design change that will completely rewrite the book for both groups, and you should be ready to take advantage when they flip the switch.
Bigger, Bolder Visuals
The current news feed isn’t exactly lacking in the ability to display photos, but they’ll now play an even bigger role in the appearance of the site.
This change may prove disruptive for advertisers using right-hand rail ads, as they will be less prominent. But it will serve as a boon to those who are using ad types that appear directly in the News Feed. To prepare for the change, advertisers should start thinking about how to use the expanded visual space.
New Ad Types?
It has long been rumored that Facebook would be offering video advertising in the feed. According to a recent Financial Times article, those rumors will be coming true this year in July. The ads would be 15 seconds long, appear in users’ news feeds, and auto-play with muted audio when they come on screen. This, combined with the larger scale of media in the feed, could either be an eyesore or a major boost for advertisers. The initial run is limited to select advertisers, but if the format works it will no doubt be available to a wider audience.
Facebook also recently moved a retargeting campaign type into its beta phase. These ads would appear in the news feed for desktop-based users and would allow advertisers to target people who have visited their site in the past. That increased relevancy to a visitor now means page link ads can move out of the right hand rail, which would give them a lot more exposure.
The new feed will undoubtedly bring new ad types and formats into the list of options, and we’ll find out more about that when the rollover commences.
The only sure bet right now is that we’ll be seeing a lot more ads and ad types on Facebook in the coming years. The focus right now seems to be on increasing visibility and relevancy. Time will tell if that will work for advertisers.